Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday Shorts

I've never known how to "talk" to boys.  I've known how to  fight boys and argue with boys.  I know how to force boys to play Barbies with me, or to pick up my housekeeping chores while mom is away.  Now I'm learning how to raise boys.  The only language spoken in my house is boy and I am fluent.  I hear friends talk of daughters and precious things, but it is a language I can't even begin to grasp.  In this world full of boy things where everyone shouts at them to be brave men, how am I to raise my voice above the noise in order to teach them that bravery is actually sensitivity, inclusivity, and respect in disguise?  After that, how do I get them to stop pulling down their pants because they think it's funny?

How do you know heaven exists?  A question I've been rolling around in my mind for the last year.  I have wanted so badly for it to reveal itself to me - without really revealing itself - ya know?  I cling tightly to a book that was recommended to me.  I lose myself in the pages with a fervor of needing to know.  My questions weigh on me like a heavy leaden harness around my shoulders.  I want to be able to talk to my children about heaven with such sureness and love.  But I need someone to talk to me first.  I am begging someone to tell me how certain they are so that I can grasp on to their certainty.  Then suddenly, today I woke up unafraid.  For the first time since I can remember I woke up unafraid of the unknown, undecided, and the end.  Believing is like getting an extra dose of courage, because knowing and believing takes the the weight away.  I am hopeful.  Is this the beginning of unwavering faith?

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  I've always loved this crazy holiday - always until now.  For no explainable reason I find myself dreading this day when everyone is Irish and everyone wears green, drinks green things, and eats delicious food that I never once had while I lived in Northern Ireland.  Maybe I feel like they're trying to lay claim to my Ireland.  So protective of a place that was only mine for a season.

If you ever want to see pain, teach in a Junior High School.  Daily I see pain and sadness walk through my art room door.  I also see happiness and friendship, pride and thoughtfulness.  But the face that stays with me during my drive home from work is insecurity and uncertainty.  I want to stop them as they leave my classroom and hug them.  I want to look into their eyes and say Everything gets better and You are amazing.  I want to scare their insecurities away.

Every morning I wake up and whisper a prayer full of lists.  Sitting hunched over my knees with my fingertips touching lightly together like the steeple, I go through a list of gratitude and thankfulness.  I go through a list of others needing prayer. I list the many ways I need forgiveness and strength.  When the lists have been run through and exhausted, I pray for time.  I pray for time to give to the things that have been labeled important by myself and others.  I pray for time to give completely to my family. I pray for time to be creative and to do creative things.  How thin can time be stretched over the course of a week?  I am always praying for more time.